Ang hupa (The Halt)
Manilla, 2034. As a result of massive volcanic eruptions in the Celebes Sea in 2031, Southeast Asia has literally been in the dark for the last three years, zero sunlight. Madmen control countries, communities, enclaves and new bubble cities. Cataclysmic epidemics ravage the continent. Millions have died and millions more have left.
A crazed dictator rules while the military carry out summary executions. Drones watch over everyone in the continual downpour. Lav Diaz’s work is tightly entwined with the history and fate of the Philippines, in this science fiction film we can read the tragedy of today. In black-and-white, with sober yet accurately captured scenes, the usual ample duration and symbolism, The Halt holds the middle ground between political satire and the country’s psychological temperature gauge. The characters include two powerfully-placed female Special Forces officers who are in love. Their path crosses that of a former history teacher who is now a silently suffering call girl. A former rock star has become a rebel. Guilt, national amnesia and the choice between violent or peaceful resistance colour the calmly structured plot, with an unexpected denouement. (IFFR)
Tagalog & English spoken, English subtitles